Design, consulting and construction

APRR invests to maintain and modernise the network and to improve its safety. Road maintenance, resurfacing and improvements to safety and user information: APRR maintains and improves the assets entrusted to it by the State in order to offer an ever safer and more comfortable motorway system with innovative services that evolve to meet its customers’ needs.

To cater to the increase in traffic and to ensure the best conditions of use of the network, the Group continues to develop its infrastructure. Its investments are aimed at creating new connections, increasing the number of lanes to smooth traffic flows and increasing the number of access points to the network to better serve the regions through which it passes.

In order to successfully complete all these projects under the supervision of the State and to ensure that the motorway network benefits all, APRR adopts a partnership approach with all its stakeholders: public and local authorities, economic actors and local communities.

Key figures

Partners and responsibilities

All actors (the State, APRR [concessionaire] and local authorities) work together as partners in a coordinated manner to develop local areas. Each partner’s responsibilities are clearly defined:
  • The State decides on the project, and acts as the contracting authority for the design studies and preliminary procedures in the case of new links. It establishes the calendar and the specifications, appoints the concessionaire and oversees compliance with the concession contract during the construction and operating phases.
  • APRR acts as contracting authority for the detailed design studies, licensing procedures and works. These actions are based on an operating programme defined by the State. During the period covered by the contract with the State, APRR is responsible for management and maintenance of the structure. The Group collects tolls to finance its investments in network improvements and to repay borrowings.
  • Local authorities are invited to state their requirements at the various stages of construction and performance of the projects. In some cases, they also take part in financing the projects.

Depending on the state of progress of development projects, in the preliminary or operational phase, the State, APRR and local authorities share responsibilities for design activities, project studies, public consultations, construction and financing.

Preliminary phase: sharing of responsibilities

For new connections
The State:
  • manages the public debate process and consults with local authorities
  • defines the link options via service plans
  • conducts the preliminary studies and decides on a 1,000 m wide corridor
  • conducts the preliminary design studies and decides on a 300 m wide band
  • conducts the ‘inter-administrative’ consultation procedure
  • submits a project located inside the 300 m band for the public interest inquiry
  • declares public interest and publishes the commitments made by the State
  • selects a concessionaire after a European-wide competitive bidding process.

For complementary investments in the existing motorway network
The State:
  • initiates the project based on the requirements stated by local authorities and/or the concessionaire
  • validates the operation and its means of financing by ministerial decision.

The concessionaire:
  • submits the summary files describing the interchange system, the increase in the number of lanes or the principle requests for validation by the State
  • formalises any financing agreements with the local and/or regional authorities.

Operational phase: sharing of responsibilities

The concessionaire:
  • defines the detailed project schedule
  • selects the main parties involved: project manager, land operator, architect, landscape architect, etc.
  • conducts preliminary studies and organises a local consultation process in liaison with the project manager
  • takes charge of land management
  • conducts the necessary licensing procedures (public interest, environmental authorisation, right-of-way appraisal, building permit, classified facilities, etc.)
  • appoints contractors after conducting a competitive bidding process, following suggestions from the project manager
  • directs construction work and performs quality control
  • commissions and subsequently operates the structure.

The project manager:
  • designs the project in accordance with the project schedule
  • assists the concessionaire with the local consultation process
  • prepares the choice of contractors
  • directs and monitors the execution of the construction works by the contractors
  • assists the concessionaire by monitoring costs, compliance with schedules and quality of work.

The State:
  • verifies conformity of the works performed
  • authorises commissioning
  • oversees compliance with the various parties’ commitments.

Consultation, dialogue, understanding

As the developer, APRR pays close attention to the partnership dimension of projects. For each of its projects, APRR organises upstream consultation with all local, regional and national interested parties. Regular discussions are held with elected representatives, government agencies, local residents and businesses directly concerned by the planned development, in order to address any specific issues relating to economic or agricultural activities or natural habitats.

Public meetings are also held in local communities concerned by the development project. A permanent public information system is deployed so that everyone can be informed of the advancement of the project: posters, specific works signage, newsletters, a website and traffic applications, etc.

This approach, geared to listening and dialogue, applies equally to procedures for land acquisition. In most cases these are arranged amicably by means of indemnifying the owners, tenants or farmers on the basis of valuations made by the State Real Estate Directorate, DIE (formerly Service France Domaine) and in accordance with the local protocols in force. Expropriation procedures account for just 2% of cases. In 95% of cases, plots of land are acquired amicably, the remaining 3% corresponding to procedures complicated by difficulties in identifying owners or by joint ownership issues.

Assessment of performance: the ‘LOTI’ Domestic Transport Act

APRR, like all motorway concessionaires, is subject to a legal obligation defined by the ‘LOTI’ Domestic Transport Act.

Before final approval can be issued, large infrastructure projects must be subjected to a forward-looking assessment of their economic and social effects and their consequences for the environment.

APRR and AREA have therefore commissioned socio-economic and environmental assessments of the major motorway links entrusted to them by the State. (Please refer to the ‘LOTI’ assessments published under the heading ‘Commitments’)

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